Consolidating small, fragmented land holdings into larger agricultural properties is a proven tool for rural development – one that merits greater attention and support from political decision makers. The recent LANDNET Conference (Belgrade, 23-25 June 2014) was important for awareness raising on the importance of good governance of land and for sharing best practices on land consolidation in Europe.
Over 100 representatives from 28 countries gathered for the three-day conference, organized jointly by the Ministry for Agricuture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia, the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.
Financial support was provided through a European Union-funded and GIZ-implemented project on „Strengthening Municipal Land Management in Serbia - Rural Development: Effective Land Management.“ The conference offered an occasion to present the development of the project, also a study trip took place to visit one of the project areas in the Serbian countryside.
The conference was opened by Mr Zoran Rajić, State Secretary of the Ministry for Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia, and representatives of the European Union, Germany and FAO. Participants included government officials, land administration experts, representatives of universities and research institutes as well as NGOs.
Participants discussed country case studies of land consolidation, information on EU funding from the 2014-2020 program for land consolidation, implementation of the “Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security,” combating abandonment of land, integrated voluntary land consolidation and other topics.
LANDNET is a community of professionals from different countries and organizations working together under an initiative of FAO. Its aim is to stimulate proper and timely responses to the changing land use and land tenure needs of rural and peri-urban areas. It is a European network that carries out studies, collects knowledge and experience, promotes exchange and capacity building, and encourages innovation in institutional frameworks and implementation.
1 July 2014, Budapest, Hungary